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Text comes from the book: “Sprint: How to test new ideas and solve problems in just five days” (2016), More time: How to concentrate on the most important things ”(2018), published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher.

Here writes for you:

Jake Knapp designed the sprint process for Google Ventures. At Google, he managed sprint processes for Gmail to Google X. He is currently one of the most important developers in the world.

Attention Concentration Focus: How to slow down your life

If you want attention, you have to be ready to give it. In fact, it is very good in our stressful work environment.

We are the time fanatics

We're not rocket-building billionaires
like Elon Musk, handsome Renaissance men like Tim Ferriss
or brilliant top managers like Sheryl Sandberg. Most time management advice is written by downright superhuman supermen and superwomen. On these pages you will
but find nothing superhuman. We are completely normal, fallible people who, like everyone else, get stressed and are victims of various distractions.
What makes our perspective so extraordinary is the fact that we are product designers who have spent many years in the technology industry and contributed to services like
Design Gmail, YouTube and Google Hangouts. As designers, our job was to come up with abstract concepts (for example, »Would
wouldn't it be cool if the e-mails were sorted automatically? «)
into real solutions (e.g. Gmail's Priority Inbox). To do this, we had to understand how technology works in our
Integrated everyday life and changes it. This experience offers us insights into the seductiveness of infinity pools and realizations
about the things we can do so that they don't rule us.
A few years ago we realized that we design on something
Applying the invisible: the way we use ours
Spend time. We started working on teams at Google and others Company to help them organize their days differently so that they can be
focus on their main priorities. And we used the design process in developing this book as well.
But instead of technology or business opportunities as a starting point
we started with the most important projects and the
most important people in our life.
We tried to buy some time each day for our own top priorities. We questioned the standard behavior patterns that characterize the busy bandwagon and realigned our to-do lists and diaries.

We questioned the standard behavior patterns with regard to the infinity pools
and redefined how we use technology. Our willpower has limits; therefore, any redesign must be easy to handle
be. We couldn't get rid of any duty, so we worked
we with limitations. We experimented, achieved success and
suffered setbacks, and over time we learned.
In this book we introduce you to the principles and tactics
that we have discovered and present numerous stories about
our human errors and awkward solutions. We thought the following episode was a good place to start:

We react more than act

It was in 2012; my two sons played with a wooden train in our living room. Luke (8 years) diligently put the track sections together while Flynn (toddler) drooled on a locomotive. Suddenly Luke raised his head and asked: Dad, why are you looking at your phone. His question was not aimed at making me feel guilty; he was
just curious. But I didn't have a good answer. I mean, I must have had some excuse for checking my email right now, but not a good one. I wanted to be present and
enjoying this precious quality time with my family, and yet
I sat and stared at my iPhone. I had myself all day
looking forward to spending time with my kids, and now that this one
When the moment finally came, my mind was actually somewhere else.
It was then that I realized something. It wasn't like me
briefly had been distracted; I had a bigger problem.

I realized that I was reacting every day: to my schedule, my inbox, and the endless stream of new information on the Internet. I just forgave countless moments like this - but
for what actually? So that I can answer another message or
Check off another item on my to-do list?
Realizing this was frustrating because I was already trying to find a better balance. When Luke was born in 2003, I had
I firmly determined to work more productively in order to get more quality time
To be able to spend at home.
In 2012, I considered myself a master of productivity and efficiency. I managed to reduce my working hours to an acceptable level
restrict, and I was home for dinner every day. So saw
Work-life balance off - at least I thought so.
If so, why did my eight-year-old son alert me that I was distracted? When I am always at work
had everything under control, why did I always feel so stressed and
torn? If I started with 200 emails from my team in the morning
and finished it off at the end of the day, that was it
really a successful day?
And suddenly it dawned on me: being more productive didn't mean
to do the most important work; it just meant up faster
responding to other people's priorities.
As a result of the constant online presence, I was not for my children
present enough. And I kept shifting my big "someday" goal
to write a book. In fact, I put it off for years without it
even to write a single page. I was way too busy with the sea of ​​emails, status updates, and selfies of others
People who sat at lunch treading water.

Does a distraction-free cell phone help?

Not only was I disappointed in myself, I was downright pissed off.
In a fit of anger, I grabbed my cellphone and uninstalled it
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As gradually each of these icons of
my screen disappeared, I felt a great burden slip away from me.
Then I stared at the Gmail app and bared my teeth. Forget
Don't tell me I was working at Google at the time and having worked with the Gmail team for years. Still, I knew what I was going to do
had to do. I still remember the message that was on mine
Screen lit up and asked me, almost in disbelief, if
I would be sure that I really wanted to delete the app. I swallowed
heavy and tapped "Delete".

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I expected to get nervous, tense, and isolated without my apps
feel. In the days that followed, I actually noticed a change.
Amazingly, I didn't feel stressed, but relieved. I felt liberated.
I stopped, reflexively at the slightest sign of boredom
reaching for my iPhone. Spending time with my children slowed down in a positive way. "Ouch," I thought. “If the iPhone
doesn't make you happier, then what about all the other things? "
I loved my iPhone and all the futuristic power it gave me. But I had accepted all of the standard behavior patterns that came with
go hand in hand with a smartphone and keep me going to the shiny one
small device in my pocket. I wondered how many
other areas of my life had to be reviewed, realigned and redesigned. Which other standard behavior patterns did I blindly adopt and how could I change them on my own responsibility?
Shortly after my iPhone experiment, I started a new job
at. I continued to work under the umbrella of the Google Corporation, now
but at Google Ventures, a venture capitalist who invested in outside startups. And that's where I met a guy on my first day
by the name of John Zeratsky.

The Obi-Wan-Kenobi of time management

At first I made up my mind not to like him. John is younger
and - let's be honest - more attractive than me. And what is even more unbearable
What was up to him was the fact that he was simply an unshakable calm
owned. John was never stressed. He always did important work beforehand
Deadline and also found time for other projects. He stood
up early in the morning, did his job early, and left early in the evening
home. And he always smiled. How the hell did he do this?
Well, in the end I got along great with John, or JZ, as I call him. I soon discovered that he was a soul mate
was - my brother in spirit, if you will.
Just like me, JZ was disaffected with the busy bandwagon. We are
both tech-savvy and have spent years being addictive
Developing tech services (when I was at Gmail, he was at YouTube). But it also dawned on both of us that these infinity pools were functioning at a considerable expense of our attention and time.

And I was determined to do something about it. He was sort of Obi-Wan Kenobi on that subject, only
that instead of a habit he wore jeans and plaid shirts. And instead
the POWER he believed in what he called "the system". That
almost had something mystical about it. He didn't know exactly what it was, however
he believed in its existence: a simple system for avoiding distractions and wasting energy, and for gaining time.
I know that sounds kind of strange to my ears too. but
the more we talked about what such a system could look like,
the more often I found myself nodding. JZ was busy
intensely with the earliest epochs of human history and evolutionary psychology and realized that part of the problem was in the
rooted in the great gap between our archaic roots as hunter-gatherers and our crazy modern world. He looked at that
Problem through the eyes of the product designer and came to the conclusion that this "system" would only work if it broke our standard behavioral patterns and made distractions difficult to access instead of relying on us to deal with them
Fighting willpower.
"Damn it," I thought. If we develop such a system
it would be exactly what I was looking for. So I did with JZ
together, and that was the beginning of our collaboration.

How do you really save time?

My distraction-free iPhone seemed a little extreme to many, and so did I.
admit that I was having a hard time at first. But than me
I finally got through to it, I thought it was great. And so we started
to look together for other options for redesigning -
for ways to change our standard behavior pattern from "distracted and distracted" to "focused".
I started by reading the news only once a week, and
changed my sleeping habits so that I became a morning person. I experimented with six small meals and then tried two main meals. I tried different ones
sporting activities, from long-distance running to yoga to daily
Pushups. I even persuaded my programming friends to join me
to develop tailor-made apps for to-do lists. Meanwhile
Jake kept his daily energy levels in Excel spreadsheets for a whole year
one, trying to find out if it's better coffee or green tea
drink or, better, exercise in the morning or in the evening, and even
whether he likes to have other people around (the answer: yes ... mostly).
We learned a great deal from this obsessive behavior, however
We were interested in more than just finding out what worked for us; we still believed in the idea of ​​a system that everyone could individually adapt to their own life. And to find that
we needed neutral test subjects. Luck wanted us to have the perfect laboratory.

While Jake was working at Google, he developed a so-called "Design Sprint". This is essentially a work week that is being completely realigned. A team sits down for five days, cancels all other appointments and concentrates
focus solely on solving a single problem following a specific checklist of activities. That was our first
tangible attempt to redesign not a product, but time. And it
worked. The design sprint quickly became common across the Google group
In 2012 we started doing design sprints together at start-ups
from the portfolio of Google Ventures. In the following
Years ago, there were more than 150 such sprints, involving almost a thousand people
Participants: programmers, nutrition experts, CEOs, baristas, farmers, etc.
For two time fanatics like us, the whole thing was an impressive opportunity. We had the opportunity to redesign a work week and be supported by hundreds of high-performance teams from start-ups like Slack,
To learn about and 23andMe. Many of the principles outlined in this book
were inspired by the discoveries we made at
did those sprints.

What daily change teaches us

Our first lesson was that something magical happens when
you start your day with a single main goal. At
Each sprint day we concentrated on a single important focus point: on Monday the team prepared a problem analysis, on Tuesday each participant sketched a single solution, on
On Wednesday the team decided on the best solution, on
Thursday it developed a prototype and on Friday it became
tested. An ambitious goal was achieved each day, and that is
only one at a time.
This focus point provides clarity and motivation. If you
head for an ambitious but achievable goal, then you have am
Achieved something at the end of the day. You can check it off, sit back, and go home satisfied.
Another lesson from our Design Sprints was that
we worked more productively when we banished all communication devices from the room. By making our own rules, we could ban laptops and smartphones, and the difference was phenomenal. Without the constant distraction
From e-mails and other infinity pools, all those present concentrated on the task to be solved.

Standard behavior was changed to focus.
We also learned the importance of energy for clear thinking
and focused work is. During our first design sprints, the teams worked until late in the evening and energy slumps were fought with sugared energy bars. As the week progressed, however, the general energy level inevitably plummeted.
As a result, we made appropriate fine adjustments and
found that things like a healthy lunch, a short walk in the fresh air, frequent short breaks, and a slightly shorter work day all helped maintain high energy levels throughout the week, resulting in more effective work and
led to better results.
And finally, these experiments taught us the power of practical experience. With the help of experiments
we improve the process, with the experience of seeing the results of the changes firsthand gave us a deep confidence that we would never have developed if we limited ourselves to it
would have to read about the experiments and success results of others.
A whole team works in a concentrated manner as part of our sprints
Together for a week, but it was immediately clear to us that there was no one
There was reason an individual didn't give up their own day too
should be able to redesign the basis of these principles. These lessons formed the basis of this book.
Of course, there was no magic formula for perfection. Occasionally we were still dragged along by the busy bandwagon
and got sucked into the infinity pools. Some of our tactics
habits became successful, while others stuck and failed. As we examined our daily results more closely, we realized why we were stuck somewhere
stayed. The experimental method also enabled us to
to be more lenient with our own mistakes. In the end
every mistake was just a data point, and we were able to get on with the following
Always try again every day.

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